Just in case you are unfamiliar with the threads running throughout these bands, Circle II Circle is essentially the offspring of Savatage when that band completed morphing into what is now Trans- Siberian Orchestra. The band, CIIC, is fronted by the former lead singer of Savatage, Zak Stevens. With the recently released Full Circle, they give us a decade long retrospective including songs from each of Circle II Circle’s albums.
Full Circle is a 32 track sampling of CIIC’s 5 albums, including a couple of live tracks, a few ‘enhanced’ songs, and several songs only previously released on special or Japanese editions of their albums, but no truly new material. For the uninitiated, this album is a great introduction to the band and essentially will provide the listener with career-spanning songs from beginning to the present. They seem to have included all my favorites, to include Soul Breaker, Watching in Silence, Out of Reach, and Dead of Dawn.
If you aren’t familiar with Circle II Circle, they can probably best be summed up as a solid Power Metal band with hints of Progressiveness added in, though they typically keep to mid-paced, straight ahead Metal. Stevens’ voice is the defining sound of the band with his mid-range, distinctive delivery compelling me to listen to the band, ultimately becoming a fan. At times in the band’s discography there is a sameness to some of the songs, but they are clearly written by Circle II Circle, a group who has no qualms sticking to their sound. I wouldn’t say they make the same album over and over again, but that they stretch the boundaries of their sound only a little bit at a time.
If you are somehow unfamiliar with Zak Stevens and CIIC (or Savatage), check out a couple of tracks below.
I hear the sound in a METAL way.